April 23, 2008
My two cents on “Sarah Marshall”
The hype has been so frenzied and the reviews so forthcoming on Jason Segel’s “Forgetting Sarah Marshall” that it would be impossible for me to add anything of significance to the discourse at this point.
Emma Forrest did a stupendous job of profiling the latest Judd Apatow protege, Segel, and the first movie he has written and starred in:
If you haven’t read the entire article, which Danielle linked to in her last blog, I highly recommend it.
Naomi Pfefferman, the JJ’s Arts and Entertainment Editor, also wrote a nice piece in last week’s paper about “Sarah Marshall” director Nicholas Stoller (a Jew with the name Nicholas?), who is a proud member of the “Jew-Tang Clan,” as Apatow’s stable of talented tribesmen has been nicknamed.
However, I do have a couple of coins to toss into the overflowing fountain of publicity this movie has generated. I saw the movie last week at an AFI Director’s Screening at the Arclight in Hollywood. The screening, open to the general public, was crammed full of eager young people and the post-film Q & A with Segel and Stoller was buzzing with enthusiasm - the two held hands in a genuine moment of affection and then again later just for laughs.
The unique mix of chick flick romanticism, crude guy humor, universally appealing heartbreak plot and truly nuanced acting made for a movie that appealed to me just as much as it did to my fiance, David.
I have to say though, that the movie poses a challenge for Israelis who may have a hard time with the heavy use of slang words (“junk” for penis) and pop culture references. And the thick British accent of Sarah’s new boyfriend. David whispered to me in the middle of the movie, “Is he speaking English?”
But that’s not the point. The point is that when I bought the tickets to see the movie, I contemplated inviting David, or my girlfriend or my younger sister, feeling confident that any one of them would have enjoyed the movie equally. Usually, we divide up movies by people categories: David saw “300” with his brothers; the latest “Rambo” with his buddies; I saw “Taxi to the Dark Side” (a heavy doc about torture in Afghanistan) with my girlfriend; the dripping-with-drama “Atonement” alone - we were on a 13 hour flight to Israel - because David would never agree to rent it, etc.
But “Sarah Marshall” could fit in any of those categories. I could enjoy it with anyone, even my mom - in spite of Segel’s infamous naked scene.
And that’s cool.